2016 was a memorable year in sports, but as we reflect on the year, there are some moments that stand out. Here are the top five sports upsets of 2016.
Cleveland Cavaliers overcome 1-3 deficit to Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals
The Golden State Warriors surpassed the 72 wins by Michael Jordan and the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls. They also featured the two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, and were leading LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 in the 2016 NBA Finals, needing only one win to secure their second-straight NBA Championship with two of the three remaining games at home. No problem, right? James, Kyrie Irving, and the Cavs did the impossible, becoming the first team in NBA history to overcome a 1-3 deficit to win an NBA chip that ended a 52-year championship drought for the city of Cleveland. As yesterday’s Christmas game showed, these two teams are very competitive and we may get to see it again this June.
Serena Williams loses on Angelique Kerber in 2016 Australian Open Final
It was merely a formality. Serena Williams was the defending Australian Open champion, and, in the 2016 final, was facing a woman in Angelique Kerber who not only had never won a Grand Slam title in her career, this was her first ever Grand Slam final. Kerber went on to win her first Grand Slam title and prevented Serena from equally the 22 Grand Slam title wins of Steffi Graf.
Andre Ward wins Light Heavyweight Championship
Andre Ward versus Sergey Kovalev was like a real-life version of the film Rocky IV with an American facing a big Russian. After a big knockdown of Ward by Kovalev, it appeared that the Roc Nation Sports star would not survive the rest of the match, let alone stand a chance of winning. But win is what Ward did, as he dominated the second half of the fight to win a controversial unanimous decision that should surely see a rematch in 2017.
Conor McGregor loses
Arguably the biggest mouth in sports, UFC Champion Conor McGregor is a smack-talking weapon of mass destruction. But it was McGregor who was destroyed in the Octagon at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016, as Nate Diaz defeated the Irish star by submission in the second round.
Chicago Cubs overcome 1-3 deficit in 2016 World Series
After a 52-year championship drought for the city of Cleveland ended in June, the city was on the verge of a second championship in 2016. The Indians led the Chicago Cubs, a team suffering from a 108-year drought themselves, 3-1 with the final two games in Cleveland. The Cubs would make a miraculous comeback, not only in the series but in a legendary win-or-go-home game 7, to win the World Series for the first time since 1908.